Volume 21 Number 1
The strength of these two books by illustrator Stephane Poulin lies in their artwork, which is excellent. Not as strong an aspect is the text.
Designed for young readers (and pre-readers) aged three to eight, the illustrations will appeal to all of the intended age group. Mr. Click, the world-famous photographer who is the "central character" of these books, appears in all of the illustrations and acts as a "guide" for the reader. Each book starts with a page of text, explaining why Mr. Click is about to explore a new area. Then follows a series of illustrations, sort of snapshots of Mr. Click's adventure, which is then followed by another page(s) of text. The final page(s) are a summary of Mr. Click's adventure and contain the book's message.
My young readers enjoyed the illustrations but didn't have the patience (or interest) to sit through the reading of the text pages.
In Endangered Animals, Mr. Click focuses on habitat deterioration, the legitimate basis for many endangered species' problems. I did feel that the content of this book, although accurate, was much too negative for young readers. In the other book, Dinosaurs, the material had a much more positive aspect and I and my kids really enjoyed it.
I can't strongly recommend either of these books, even though Mr. Click is not without appeal. It is hoped that in the forthcoming books of this series the publishers will adjust their format, avoiding full-text pages. Should they do this, kids will find these books fun from cover to cover.
Peter Croskery is a biologist, freelance writer and instructor specializing in environmental issues in Grimsby, Ontario
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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